When Peter Gruber and Joe Lacob bought the Warriors, it was a wait and see kind of deal in my mind. Being a Warriors fan over the past few decades you rarely know what direction they are going or if they even have a plan to begin with. It feels like the new owners DO have a game plan that we are finally seeing put together. Not a whole lot happened last year aside from them trading for David Lee during the off-season. At the end of this year, I figured I’d give them at least one more season to figure out how the NBA worked and what it takes to build a winner, then I’d start getting critical. I was pretty sure they weren’t planning on making big changes to the team since we are pretty close to the cap and won’t have money to sign a bunch of free agents heading into the lockout, but much sooner than I expected they made some big moves that really impressed me. They didn’t make a lot of moves that effect the on-court players, but in the front office we’ve been significantly strengthened, and seems to have some stability for the first time in god knows how long. All the moves led up to today where they bought a D-League team, the Dakota Wizards, and capped off an impressive pre-lockout flurry of moves that shook up our whole front office, and made Warriors fans like myself believe that the owners aren’t the cheap bastard we used to have.
Their first major move was hiring on Jerry West as our main consultant. I’m sure he didn’t come to Oakland cheap. It ultimately gave the organization instant credibility, and an amazing sound board to bounce ideas off. Their second move was hiring Mark Jackson to man the bench. Not positive if he’s going to be a great coach, but he seems like he’d be great at teaching Curry and Ellis how to manage games better, and be consummate professionals. I hope he’s the next Doc Rivers, but you never really can tell. I mean if you gave Doc Rivers the W’s roster, would he be able to bring them to glory? Probably not… Shortly after hiring Jackson, they acquired a top assistant in Mike Malone, who they somehow outbid the Lakers on. Does that mean he didn’t get along with Mike Brown during his time in Cleveland? I dunno, I guess you’d have to ask him.
Fast forward to the draft last week. It’s been awhile since we had a draft that didn’t have one mind boggling decision in it. Our picks made sense. Our previous owner would sell our picks for cash from time to time, which is why this years draft was so surprising. They actually bought the rights to Jeremy Tyler the 39th pick for $2M (a huge project that could be nothing or could be an All-Star), but the fact that they were spending money instead of just trying to make money during the draft was amazing to this longtime Warriors fan.
Today it was reported that they bought the D-League franchise, the Dakota Wizards. It seems like a great move, because the Warriors seem to be calling up D-Leaguers more than any other team, and have been very successful in doing so! They are now one of only four teams that have a “farm system”. Seems like a perfect place to let Tyler develop into a player, right? It will also keep Jeremy Lin busy instead of riding the bench in Oakland. Now they can sign players that they just want to look at. With access to their own team in the D-League that team can be run with the same concepts as the pro team, which will help them immensely when players are called up to the NBA because of injury or a player X sucking. They also can groom coaches whether they are assistants or head coaches. The team won’t be moving to Northern California until after the upcoming season, and if the Kings move, maybe
Arco PowerBalance Pavilion wouldn’t be a bad site for the team!
June 28th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Nice piece, don’t know much about the Warriors, really informed me on stuff I didn’t know
June 28th, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Great piece, the Warriors have a bright future in from of them. I love the hiring of Mark Jackson, although the draft left something to be desired. What do you think about the Ellis trad rumors ??
June 28th, 2011 at 4:08 pm
I’m actually for trading Ellis, but only if we get something pretty good for him. He’s easily our best player, so if they trade him for anything less than a star, I’ll be VERY disappointed. At this point though, I don’t see them trading him unless he really wants to be moved. I think I’ve warmed up to the idea of trading Curry since I hear they are getting tons more calls about him than Ellis. Again though, I wouldn’t want to break up the back court unless we are getting something worth it in return. No need to trade either of our best players, unless it’s change for the better…
June 28th, 2011 at 4:08 pm
btw alex, nice blog, just subscribed
June 29th, 2011 at 6:22 am
You already know my thoughts on Lacob and Guber to begin with . As for the hiring of West well that was a “no brainer ” . Simply look at his resume’ and what he achieved with both the Lakers and Grizzlies ? I concur with what you’re saying on Jackson . But I don’t get the choice with the purchase of a D League team ! Their biggest issue now ought to be assessing the Warriors’ roster and see what’s needed to make them all the more competitive .
In terms of their salary commitments aren’t mind blowing with there being just over $49 million for 2012 and $36 million for 2013 . With there currently being a soft cap ($57million) in the NBA , until we know what concessions will be made in terms of the CBA (expires 30th June) we can’t really say how teams will be spending at all .
June 29th, 2011 at 9:36 am
Yeah it’s tough to really say what the new CBA will have in it, and how much a team can spend. I don’t see why you don’t think it’s advantageous to have your own D-League team. Then when you draft the “project” players you can watch them closer if they are on your D-league squad, and get reports from that coaching staff on the kid. I’m not saying that it’s going to make them groom tons of players, but it’s not going to hurt them, and in the case of injuries at least the players that get called up know your system…
June 29th, 2011 at 10:33 am
Yeah but the D League was simply created so that college talent not fully developed would get the chance to do so. Now herein lies the caveat , all teams in the NBA could go out and assess the teams and scour for talent . With the Warriors will they allow another team to come in and perhaps snap up a player off its D team roster ?
I know that Lacob and Guber come in with hefty and deep pockets but why add to their budgetary costs overall with the addition of a D team ? When you consider that all but eight teams in the NBA are actually profitable what does that tell you about the NBA as a brand at present ? And their problems simply aren’t due to the downturn in the economy but it has more to their ostentatious spending over the past five years at least . The teams have simply ignored the soft salary cap of $57 million and sought to buy themselves success by making rather inane roster moves in overpaying for marginal talent .
The owners and GM’s within the NBA are simply as clueless as Stern and the rest of the NBA hierarchy !
June 29th, 2011 at 11:30 am
I have no idea how that works with other teams trying to sign their players, but if it’s a draft pick they made or the player is under contract for them and is basically thier property then nobody else will be able to sign them. Kinda like they did with Jeremy Lin last year, he was on the W’s roster, but they had him playing in the D-League. Now that they own a team they can groom that player into their system instead of whatever system they are forced to play in.
I look at it more from the perspective of a baseball team. The D-League is their farm system. Hell, if a guy has a long injury, he can even make a quick rehab stint in the D-League if they own the team, and play the same way. I understand that a lot of teams are losing money, but the Warriors are not one of them. They sell plenty of tickets in the fourth largest market in the US… Maybe if they get to review some of their players on their D-League team instead of having them ride the bench in the pros they will see that a player isn’t worth a big contract, and save money in the long run.
June 29th, 2011 at 10:36 am
NBA GM’s …. link
June 29th, 2011 at 11:08 am
Another summer and another Warriors fan who thinks their team is that much closer to being relevant, only to suffer the end of innocence come playoff time.
I feel for ya’, man.
Hey, it could be worse, I guess. Your team doesn’t stand to lose Dwight Howard.
June 29th, 2011 at 11:31 am
Yeah trade chatter for Dwight must be a lot more unbearable than trade talks about Monta and Steph… I’m hopefully for our future. Seems like we’re laying some good ground work for a properly functioning team within the next few years!
June 29th, 2011 at 11:48 am
I get what you’re saying from that point and I’ve no doubt that with the cash that Lacob and Guber bring with them they’ll take care of business one way or another .
What’s the business template that they have in place to begin with ? Because even if they’re in the second largest ad market that simply doesn’t negate profitability for a team . Look at the Knicks , they’ve been hemorrhaging money but because of Cablevision they can write of some of those operating losses with regard to the basketball operations .
I just hope that the league and union can work something but by midnight Thursday because I don’t want to go through the dark days of summer without the NFL or NBA ! I know we’ve got College Football and the UFL but that doesn’t always cut for me !
What’s this Bosh and his bachelor/stag night gig in Vegas ? Apparently he and his boys took in a magic show and music revue more attuned with ” show tunes” ?
June 29th, 2011 at 12:48 pm
I’m not sure what their business plan is, but the Bay Area LOVES the Warriors more than New York has loved the Knicks during the time they’ve both sucked, so I’d say it’s a good plan whatever it is!
I wouldn’t hope for much from the NBA next year. I bet they only play half a season!
June 29th, 2011 at 3:24 pm
All I know is that this is best thing to have happened to the Warriors in years ! Anyone who thinks otherwise simply knows nothing about the game or this organization !
June 30th, 2011 at 8:47 am
Take a look at the link provided below what to you stands out as really glaring ? Bear in mind also the soft salary cap of $57 million .
NBA Salaries . Also look at the individual salaries ?
What did Rashard Lewis do last year to warrant that salary ? I know that with the way the contracts are structured it’s simply a thing of risk _ reward and what not . But s@it that much for absolutely nothing ? A scarecrow could have been more productive than Lewis !
June 30th, 2011 at 10:22 am
I think I’ve made lists of terrible contracts and Rashard would be close to the top! I hope they can negotiate some kind of stipend in the new CBA that players have to hit certain incentives to make all of their money. Even NFL players aren’t guaranteed all their money, so why are they in basketball? I have no idea…
June 30th, 2011 at 10:33 am
If anything given the statements attributed to Fisher as union President I think that he and his members will not want anything less than a 50/50 split of the revenues . At present it’s a 53/47 in the union’s favor . Stern on the other hand wants a rollback and he’s now projecting that there’ll be $2 billion in added revenue over the next decade which can be shared equally between the league hierarchy and union . To me that’s way too optimistic given that they got it so badly wrong in the aftermath of this last CBA negotiated in June 2005 .
Thanks for chiming in on that last piece !
June 30th, 2011 at 10:25 am
yea tophatal that doesn’t make any sense at all, I’m hoping for a hard cap
June 30th, 2011 at 10:43 am
It’s been the soft cap that had led the NBA into this mess and the owners and league hierarchy simply don’t want to face facts .